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Hjol_Square_Oxbow

Horse Jumper of Love

August 4 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
| music

Oxbow Live: Horse Jumper of Love with Gaud

Buy Tickets Here

| Horse Jumper of Love |

2022 saw the release of Horse Jumper of Love’s latest full-length, Natural Part, and now less than a year later, the band are back with an unexpected new release. Heartbreak Rules is a mini-album of sorts: a collection of eight completely fresh songs, two reimagined versions of standout tracks from Natural Part, and a cover of The Smashing Pumpkins classic, “Luna.” But the most striking thing about Heartbreak Rules is the volume–or more specifically, the lack of it. This is a sparse, intimate version of Horse Jumper of Love, one that forgoes the waves of fuzz and feedback, and instead highlights the indelible songwriting at the core of their music.

Heartbreak Rules was written and recorded solely by vocalist/guitarist Dimitri Giannopoulos, but it is undeniably a Horse Jumper of Love release. “When I started writing, I didn’t really know what it would be,” he explains. “I went into it with no intentions.” Seeking a creative outlet during the pandemic, Giannopoulos decamped to the Catskills with engineer and longtime band collaborator, Bradford Kreeger, and the pair spent five days casually recording what would become Heartbreak Rules. “It was really fun, we were drinking heavily and grilling steaks,” Giannopoulos laughs, adding, “We only brought the bare minimum stuff: a practice amp, a midi keyboard, a very spare drum kit. The low key vibe just made the songs sound great to me because I knew I was in a good headspace.”

That laidback and peaceful feeling comes through in Heartbreak Rules’ hushed and unvarnished recordings, making the expert songcraft shine through even more. “As I play music more, I just want to play quieter,” Giannopoulos says. “We’re rehearsing these songs as a full band now and we’re not blasting our amps like we used to–it feels really good. I think it has to do with our confidence level at this point. I used to play loud because I wasn’t confident in my vocal delivery or my lyrics, and now I want to showcase those things.”

The eight new songs on Heartbreak Rules accomplish just that, with the minimal arrangements and earworm melodies of the title track, “A Tune Drifts Out The Window,” or “Snake Eyes” metamorphosing Giannopoulos into an otherworldly acoustic balladeer. Elsewhere, “Queenie’s Necklace” and “Pendulum” still manage to incorporate the elements of dissonance and tension that are essential to Horse Jumper of Love’s sound, now only made more effective by the sense of space and distance within the recordings. Giannopoulos provides his surrealist musings on family, friendship, vices, and the unpredictability of life–his voice and lyrics confidently upfront in the mix as he paints pictures with words just as vivid as the melodies that carry them.

Heartbreak Rules ends with the hazy cover of “Luna,” an early Horse Jumper of Love recording from nearly ten years ago. Unearthed from Giannopoulos’ collection of old Tascam tapes, the track is gauzy and relaxed, but also a fitting line between the band’s past and their future. “Recording these new songs sort of reminded me of how I used to do things. It was like a callback to how fun that looseness could be. These songs really just feel like they’re for me because they weren’t written with the studio or playing live in mind. There was no pressure around them.” Luckily these songs aren’t just for Giannopoulos, they’re the essential next step for Horse Jumper of Love and we all get to follow their Heartbreak Rules.

| Gaud |

Formed in NH in 2020 Gaud is a music and arts project with a focus on the exploration of stories and emotion through sound. They put out their first EP in 2022 called “Gold Mine”, which is but a section of a larger story that will be released as a full-length in Spring of 2024.

Gaud is interested in growth and the path that it takes. So free and undetermined, despite all efforts to chart its course. Songs and themes flow together as to emulate the overlapping of life’s ventures. Coincidence and fate are the same.

A Gaud is a purely ornamental item by definition. Be it a traditional ornament that sparks togetherness and shines a light on the path. Or just a glimmer that passes by.

Gaud is Alex Powers, John Funk, Sam Tassey, Derek Prestone, and Devin Cox. All working and living in New England. Connected by a deep passion for music, and a joint focus on perfecting their craft. They tell their stories for all who hear.

“A need to tell and hear stories is essential to the species Homo sapiens–second in necessity apparently after nourishment and before love and shelter. Millions survive without love or home, almost none in silence; the opposite of silence leads quickly to narrative, and the sound of story is the dominant sound of our lives, from the small accounts of our day’s events to the vast incommunicable constructs of psychopaths” (Reynolds Price).

[$20 Tickets | Doors 7 PM | Show 730 PM]